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Cloud Back Up: The Big Boy of the Town

Is your computer lost, stolen or otherwise compromised?

No problem, Cloud backup is coming to your rescue. Yes Cloud backup is the new big boy of the town far better than its counterpart “the cloud storage system”. Cloud backup services provide a system for users to backup, storage, and recover their much treasured data. It is basically a model for data storage where the digital data is stored in logical pools. The physical storage spans multiple servers, and the physical environment is typically owned and managed by a hosting company. It is comprised of highly virtualized infrastructures. The backup systems are archetypally built around a client software program and runs on a schedule. It typically collects, compresses, encrypts data and transfers the data to the remote backup service providers’ servers or even off-site hardware. It has a few typical features:

  • Encryption
  • Network backup
  • Continuous backup
  • File-by-File Restore
  • Online access to files
  • Data compression
  • Differential Data compression
  • Bandwidth usage
  • Offline backup
  • and last but least Synchronization

All that for only 5$ per month typically. No wonder Kurt Vonnegut refers to a cloud as “something that does all the heavy thinking for everybody”. Thanks to Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider who is believed to have invented “Cloud Computing” back in the 1960s. Speaking of the cost the backup services are usually priced as a factor of the following:

  • The total amount of data being backed up
  • The number of machines covered by the backup service
  • The maximum number of versions of each file that are kept
  • Data retention and archiving period options
  • Managed backups vs. Unmanaged backups
  • The level of service and features available

Acronis, Asus Webstorage, Blackbaze, Barracuda Backup Service, Box, Bitcasa, Bullguard Backup are few of the providers of cloud backup services. Cloud backup services have several advantages and since every coin must two sides, it has quite a few disadvantages as well.

Advantages:

  • Do not require user intervention. The user does not have to perform other manual steps
  • Unlimited data retention
  • Some remote backup services will work continuously, backing up files as they are changed.
  • Most backup services will maintain a list of versions of the files.
  • Most backup services will use a 128 – 448 bit encryption to send data over unsecured links
  • A few backup services can reduce backup by only transmitting changed data

Disadvantages:

  • Depending on the available network bandwidth, the restoration of data can be slow. Because data is stored offsite, the data must be recovered either via the Internet or via a disk shipped from the online backup service provider
  • Some backup service providers have no guarantee that stored data will be kept private
  • It is possible that a backup service provider could go out of business or be purchased, which may affect the accessibility of one’s data or the cost of using the service
  • If the encryption password is lost, data recovery will be impossible
  • Residential broadband services often have monthly limits that preclude large backups.

Check out our cloud backup services at computrad.co.uk/managed-services/managed-cloud-backup.php

Jake Simpson

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